US Republican senator John McCain has brain cancer

John McCain. Picture: Getty Images

Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the Arizona lawmaker’s office announced on Wednesday.

“On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumour known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot,” the statement read.

McCain and his family are reviewing treatment options, which could include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.

Before the tumour was discovered, the senator’s office had suggested the blood-clot procedure might keep the senator off the job for a week, but the cancer diagnosis and forthcoming treatment could sideline McCain indefinitely.

The American Brain Tumour Association notes that Glioblastomas are “usually highly malignant,” and that “the cells reproduce quickly and they are supported by a large network of blood vessels.”

McCain’s office said the senator was recovering his blood-clot surgery “amazingly well.” His doctors said the senator’s underlying health is “excellent.”

McCain, 80, a former presidential candidate and six-term Republican senator, is also a decorated Navy pilot who was shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner for 5 1/2 years.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called McCain “a hero to our Conference and a hero to our country” in a statement Wednesday night. “He has never shied from a fight and I know he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterised his life.”

Here’s the full statement from McCain’s office:

“On Friday, July 14, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumour known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot.

“Scanning done since the procedure (a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision) shows that the tissue of concern was completely resected by imaging criteria.

“The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.

“The Senator’s doctors say he is recovering from his surgery ‘amazingly well’ and his underlying health is excellent.”

The office of Senator John McCain also released the following statement:

“Senator McCain appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective. Further consultations with Senator McCain’s Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate.”

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